MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A young diabetic woman injecting herself in the arm with insulin. Diabetes mellitus is a carbohydrate metabolism disorder. It is a disease in which sugars in the body are not oxidised to produce energy due to a lack of the pancreatic hormone insulin. Unused sugars thus accumulate in the blood and the urine. Fats, which are utilised as an alternative energy source, lead to a build-up of ketones in the blood that may eventually cause convulsions and diabetic coma. Treatment is based on a strict diet and the use of daily insulin injections (between one and four) to maintain the blood-sugar balance.
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